Southern California Activities

CEERT continues our long-time work to reduce Southern California’s dependence on fossil-fueled power and increase its reliance on clean energy resources. In addition to our regulatory advocacy to promote renewable energy and the building of a low-carbon grid for the region, we are particularly focusing on Los Angeles and the Imperial Valley.

Recent Developments:

The Southern California municipal utilities’ long-term planning for SB 100 and beyond remains underway. Nothing has fundamentally changed in the last few months and no major procurements from SCPPA (the joint powers agency for all of the Southern California munis) have been announced, although steady progress is being made, and “near-term” (say, for the next 2-3 years) procurement is expected on the order of 3-4,000 MW of large-scale renewables, plus aggressive distributed solar and hopefully much more expansive energy efficiency and demand response programs.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)

Los Angeles faces the near-term need to retire or repower almost 1,700 MW of obsolete gas facilities at Scattergood, Harbor and Haynes along the coast in the LA Basin. To repower these facilities with combined-cycle gas as called for in their 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is incompatible with any realistic vision for compliance with SB 100, much less the City’s ambitious targets for “100% Renewables.”

DWP hired Navigant to conduct a study of alternatives to the gas repowerings. The results of this study were presented to the DWP Board of Commissioners around Thanksgiving; however, the report itself and the technical backup won’t be published until February. Although the study does conclude that the re¬powers can be avoided without compromising reliability, they chose to simply replace the 1,700 MW of repowers with 1,800 MW of 4-hour batteries, and then had to scramble to find a way to recharge those batteries during a multi-day heat storm, and ended up with a lot of transmission upgrades, roughly 15-20% higher costs, and essentially no greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reductions. DWP will be studying these alternatives in its new IRP cycle, with the critical issues being covered in the next six months. CEERT has lobbied vigorously for a different vision that relies on much less battery storage, a different transmission upgrade plan that involves sharing with the other Basin utilities facing similar issues (CAISO, Glendale, and Burbank), plus a redirection and expansion of existing energy efficiency and demand response programs. We have succeeded in calling significant attention to the “preferred resource” alternatives early in the IRP process and, with the blessing of the Board of Commissioners, have a meeting in early February with DWP Staff to discuss re-scoping the IRP.

Glendale Water and Power (GWP)

GWP has postponed releasing the results of the preferred resource Request for Proposals (RFP) that CEERT and other NGOs argued for as an alternative to GWP’s proposal to repower 262 MW of old, ob¬so¬lete gas with new combined-cycle gas. We believe this postponement is to allow a study of transmission enhancements in conjunction with LADWP. This has been CEERT’s position for the past year, and will be coordinated with the LADWP IRP discussed above.